Chatting with… Racheal Kneller

Image result for racheal kneller jockeyPhoto is by Debbie Burt of Racheal Kneller and Shammat Al Hosn at Newbury in August 2017

Who is Racheal Kneller?

Racheal Kneller is a professional flat licenced jockey. She has been Champion Lady Jockey in the world of Arab Racing twice, she was the AW Lady Apprentice Champion in 2013 and was the winner of the Racing Excellence Apprentice Series 2012. Statistically, her favourite track is Wolverhampton, having amounted 8 individual winners there and 17 placings. Racheal is definitely a figure that many young riders should aspire to be like and we thank her enormously for giving us the time to carry out the following interview!

 

What got you interested in the sport of horse racing?

Well, my dad was into horse racing, so I used to tag along with him to Wolverhampton races on a Saturday night as a twelve year old. Then at school, when I had to do work experience, I wanted to do something horsey. I grew up in the show jumping sphere so I didn’t know much about working with racehorses, therefore I chose to spend a week at a racing yard to learn more and I absolutely loved it. Reg Hollinshead and his team were very accommodating and after that, I was hooked!

 

What were your first steps to being involved in the industry and how did that influence your career?

I started out as an amateur, riding in charity races and Arab races. It gave me vital race riding experience without the pressure of my races being televised, which gave me plenty of race riding practise prior to getting my apprentice license. So I guess I had a slight head start to other apprentice jockeys who hadn’t raced before. I owe a lot to Arab racing and the supportive trainers that helped me kick start my riding career, mainly Peter Hammersley, who I still ride Arabs for now in the Group races at big meeting like the St Leger etc.

 

What are your views on the female representation in the horse racing world?

There are some terrific lady jockeys around at the moment, more than ever. The riding standard of the lady riders has improved immensely from say, 15 years ago, which is proven by girls now riding for top owners like Godolphin and Khalid Bin Abdullah. They are not only riding well, but they are also great in TV interviews, where they are doing a great job at selling the sport to other female jockey hopefuls. Racing is in a good place for women at the moment.

Is there anything you would like to change about the sport?

If I were to change something about racing, I would limit the number of races jockeys can ride in per day, so that it offers more opportunities to the struggling jockeys. It is harder than ever to get rides now as there are more jockeys and smaller fields. There are a few jockeys who don’t struggle to make a living out of racing in its current state and it might make a few of the luckier busy jockeys grumble, but I know a lot of people would appreciate the help.

 

Any young horses to keep an eye out for this season/next?

I have been really impressed with a filly I ride every day at Ed Walker’s yard called Royal Intervention. She has taken to her racing career like a true professional who continued to impress us all after her debut 2nd place, by winning a listed contest at Newmarket by 4 lengths. I think she has a big future if we can keep the lid on her as she can be very hot headed at home as Ed has said before.

About ROYAL INTERVENTION=

  • 2yo CH F
  • Trained by Ed Walker (@edwalkerracing)
  • Owned by Lord Lloyd Webber and W S Farish
  • Future entries include the Princess Margaret Keeneland Stake (G3) and the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes (G2)

 

Best performance at Royal Ascot?

I don’t think anyone expected Alpha Centauri to win as easily as she did in the Coronation Stales at Royal Ascot. You can’t deny how impressive that was! But then to back up that with another incredible win in the Falmouth at Newmarket, just shows how classy she is. She’s a very exciting filly!

 

I, personally, would love to thank Racheal for her time as I’m sure it is precious when you have a work ethic like her’s!

You can find Racheal on twitter (@jockeyrach).

-Lois

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